Like Alice she falls through the pages
And lands with a bump in his prose.
It’s knotty and twists like a spinning top,
She kneels, and then turns, intrigued;
Each succeeding rendition of his dicey ditty
Leads this curious girl by the hand through his carefully,
Carelessly constructed literary labyrinth.
This winding windy place…
She feels the walls, they’re still warm,
The soft impression of his literary
Thumbprint lingers –
The author has departed not long since.
Within and without she balances
On the beams of abstract connections,
Skips across the fanciful lines,
All around her complicated conundrums,
Acrobatic and spinning, plead with outstretched arms to her
For a morsel of comprehension.
For the relief of being answered.
To be solved.
Yearning for release from the intricate, recondite bonds
The author has crafted, in the murky penumbra of his mind’s eye.
She feels for them.
They tease her mind, and pluck at its pathways
With dexterous, clever plectrums,
Creating songs, sagas and pictures.
Illustrating themselves shamelessly for her pleasure.
She laughs, giddy with her new finds,
Her treasure-filled wordy blooms,
Opening in the bright morning sun of her cogitations
As she points at them one by one.
Making of them what she pleases,
For every word consumed becomes hers to keep.
Suddenly the creak of a huge wooden door;
The author returns – fraught, frowning,
Furious at the confused and pretty mess she’s made.
The riddle was his to jiggle.
This place is HIS domain of tripping, skipping consciousness.
Open in essence, but only in the darkest shadows.
There is nothing here for silly Alice-like girls
With the sun in their eyes.
Precisely pitched projectiles of pernicious prose pierce;
He banishes her verboten, wanting no befuddled,
Yet sharp-witted misses invading this sacred sanctum
With sparkling noisy pageants;
He – on his island of calm ciphers, opaque ambiguities, and swift associations,
She – causing trouble with her odd, giddy queries and misplaced smiles.
This riddle should be no more than a diddle
To the casual passer-bye.
Nothing for a chancing Alice to make into a profoundly perplexing palace.
She scoots back up the ladders and snakes of patty- cake puzzles,
Twisters and ciphers in a flash,
Smarting, spooked by the writhing wrath.
Banished from this intoxicating, eclectic, electric land;
Then disappears in a puff of apostrophes,
Robust raspberries blown in her wake.
But little does the author know….
A key was snaffled
In the confusion and allusion.
She’s a seasoned thief now,
With some of the spinning pretty blooms,
Stuffed into her apron pocket at the last moment.
She wears them in her hair – trophies by peradventure.
Stolen idioms that she owns now.